The long road to expropriation
March 21, 2014, marked the eleventh anniversary of the occupation of the hotel by its workers. Like every year, the cooperative organized an event and invited numerous guests from different political, labor and cooperative sectors to show their support for self-management of the BAUEN. There was even a presentation of the report on the fourth survey of recovered businesses done by the Open Faculty Program of the UBA,1 in which there was an analysis based on the survey that has been done since 2002 on the situation of the recovered businesses in the country.
That same day, maybe coincidentally and maybe not, a new eviction notice arrived at the hotel, sent by Paula Hualde’s Court n.° 9. An ominous shadow tinged the celebration: again, the threat, the danger. The symbolism of getting the news of a new eviction notice on the day workers and many organizations were celebrating the eleventh year of the recovery of the BAUEN did not escape anyone, whether that was the judge’s intent or not.
Everyone, hotel workers and the people in solidarity with them, restarted the defense campaign. The demand for the expropriation law was reactivated in Congress, which already had four bills presented in the Chamber of Deputies to replace Francisco Gutiérrez’s when it expired. Among them was one presented by Victoria Donda of Libres del Sur (submitted June 4, 2008, lost parliamentary status, and was re-submitted), one by Carlos Heller of the Partido Solidario (presented December 17, 2012) and one by Héctor Recalde and Adriana Puiggrós, both of the Frente para la Victoria (who presented theirs shortly after the reactivation of the eviction order). There was also an earlier bill from Carlos Tinirello, who had been elected as Deputy on the list of Autodeterminación y Libertad, the party of Luis Zamora. Everyone followed the model of the original from “The Beard” Gutiérrez, with a few variations in each case. However, none of them was able to make any progress.
The campaign against the eviction and for expropriation went international. For May first, a day of international solidarity with the BAUEN was organized, and support came in from different parts of the world, but especially from the United States and the countries of Latin America and Europe. Among them, of factories and recovered businesses like Fralib of France, Officine Zero and RiMaflow of Italy, and Vio.Me of Greece – which, to this day, still has a sign hung up in their plant, made for the occasion, that says in Spanish that “half of our heart is in Buenos Aires: Vio.Me in solidarity with the BAUEN.”
- Center of Documentation of Recovered Businesses, New recovered businesses 2010-2013, Bs. As.: Ediciones Peña Lillo/Continente, Worker Economy Library series, 2014.↩